Here is a collection of various things I have written over the years where I reflect on the challenges to pacifism that the Old Testament offers.
A review of Webb and Oeste, Bloody, Brutal, and Barbaric?: Wrestling with Troubling War Texts. [Posted July, 27, 2021].
Critique of The Crucifixion of the Warrior God. [This is a very lengthy set of reflections stimulated by a close reading of Greg Boyd’s massive two volumes where he tries valiantly (and at least somewhat fruitfully) to argue for a reading strategy that allows a Christian pacifist to affirm the truthfulness even of the violent OT stories. My critique was posted in 27 parts between May 2017 and January 2018. I interact with Boyd’s thoughts and also spin out a few of my alternative proposals for reading the OT in a pacifist way. On this page also links to a four-part summary and three-part critique of Boyd’s more accessible version of his argument, Cross Vision.]
An anarchist reading of the Bible. [A series of fairly short essays that propose a perspective on reading the Bible influenced by ideas from anarchism. The series is still incomplete (6 of 8 essays were posted in early 2015), but the 4 parts dealing with the OT are there.
“Saving” the Joshua story? An anarchistic reading. [My most recent attempt to present a reading strategy for one of the most difficult of the violent OT texts—posted 11/13/14]
How the Old Testament story refutes the God-as-punisher assumption. [Posted 5/25/14]
Does the Bible have a coherent peace message? [Posted 2/17/14. Here I write a response to a critique of my work from an OT professor—with a lengthy rejoinder from him.]
Old Testament Peace Theology. [Posted 6/1/12] This scholarly paper, presented at the American Academy of Religion meetings in 2010, outlines the Old Testament’s positive agenda for peace.
War and the Old Testament: A proposal. [Posted 10/3/11]
Seeing mercy in the Old Testament. [A short article, published 9/6/05]
The Bible on peace. [A series of short, popular-level articles. The NT articles were never posted, but 18 pieces on the OT were.]